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tv   Newsline  PBS  February 19, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

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eyes in the sky. the leaders of japan and the u.s. are considering additional radar to track threats from north korea. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has blocked off an important meeting in his agenda. he's heading to washington to meet with u.s. president barack obama. white house officials say they'll discuss economic issues, the u.s.-japan security alliance, and their approach to north korea. north korean officials launched a rocket in december. they said they put a satellite into space. but western leaders say they were testing technology for a ballistic missile. some security analysts say such a missile could reach the u.s. west coast and could carry a nuclear payload. north korean scientists carried out another underground nuclear test last week.
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and authorities in pyongyang have hinted they may conduct another rocket launch before the end of this year. abe and obama will meet on friday at the white house. japanese government officials say the leaders will discuss the deployment of a second x band radar. u.s. army personnel already operate those systems at an air self-defense force base in northern japan. one government official says the additional system will make it possible to track missiles aimed at japan or the u.s. a north korean diplomat made another kind of threat at the united nations conference on disarmament. he said what he called south korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction. he made the remark in a meeting in geneva. delegates from south korea and the netherlands had criticized the latest nuclear test. the representative from seoul urged the north koreans to halt their nuclear program, saying it's damaging stability on the
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korean peninsula. the north korean diplomat said authorities there want to bolster their defenses against a possible invasion. his remarks drew immediate criticism. a british delegate said the comments were inappropriate for a conference on disarmament. analysts at a u.s. cyber security firm are accusing the chinese military of conducting cyber espionage on american corporations. they say one military unit stole data from more than 100 companies. virginia-based firm mandiant released a report identifying the people's liberation army. the analysts say employees of one unit have attacked at least 141 organizations over the past seven years. they say they believe the hackers are based in shanghai. a chinese foreign ministry spokesperson strongly denied the allegations. >> translator: the criticism is irresponsible and
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unprofessional. it does not help in resolving the hacking issue. >> he said china is also a victim of cyber attacks. he said most of them originate in the u.s. "the new york times" reported in january that hackers based in china had gained access to its computers. she said they used methods associated with the chinese military. a gunman has gone on a shooting rampage in southern california. he killed three people and wounded at least two others before turning a gun on himself. the man shot and killed a woman in the town of ladera ranch in orange county. he fled the scene and carjacked several vehicles, killing two more people. at one point he started firing shots at passing cars. the man made his way through a number of communities before police closed in. then the man got out of the vehicle and shot himself. police are trying to find out what might have set the man off.
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i know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. but this time is different. >> president obama has seen one mass shooting after another during his time in office. but he said the attack in december on an elementary school in connecticut changed everything. a gunman murdered 20 children and six adults. obama called on lawmakers to ban assault rifles and other guns intended for military use. but opponents say the only way to protect schoolchildren is to arm their teachers. nhk world's john guardiola reports from los angeles. >> reporter: since the shooting at an elementary school in connecticut sales of guns have increased so much many stores are running out of inventory.
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>> you can't protect yourself from a bad guy with a gun if you don't have a gun to protect yourself. so. >> reporter: this company makes lightweight material used to bulletproof vests and vehicles. now it's seeing a spike in demand for its children's backpacks, which are fitted with special bulletproof shields. it has conducted firing tests on the backpacks. the armor can stop a bullet even fired at point blank range. the company is promoting the backpack as a way for children to protect themselves if a gunman were to enter their school. since the massacre in connecticut, inquiries have flooded in from parents and schools and orders have risen
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tenfold. >> the problem is, so many guns are still out there. our solution is we will provide armor to anybody that wants it. >> reporter: there is also a groundswell of opinion that teachers should carry guns. >> one concealed handgun, if it would have been allowed in connecticut, could have stopped that. >> reporter: this gun training center in the state of texas teaches people how to handle and shoot firearms. although classes normally cost $120, teachers can join free of charge. it's proved hugely popular with teachers from kindergarten, elementary and middle schools. >> i feel that educating myself and acquiring the skills necessary is my obligation as a teacher.
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>> reporter: they are given detailed instructions on how to react if their classrooms come under attack. >> probably 95% of the daily force encounters are from here to there or closer. protect yourself, protect others around you, but you don't have to pursue, okay? and you have to draw. that's all you have to do. >> reporter: kindergarten teacher heather stewart was one of the participants. she is responsible for 21 5-year-olds. stewart's classroom is on the ground floor, and its door opens straight onto the parking lot. she's worried that an armed intruder could burst into the room and she would have no way of keeping the children safe.
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>> if i were able to carry on campus, then i think it could have maybe slowed the gunman down. >> reporter: with student safety in their hands, teachers like stewart feel they cannot wait for government and society to decide on the future of gun control. they just want to protect the children. john ellis guardiola, nhk world, los angeles. lawmakers in at least five u.s. states are working to pass legislation allowing teachers to carry guns. south african olympic and paralympic run per oscar pistorius has told a court that he shot his girlfriend by mistake. prosecutors accuse him of murdering fashion model reeva steenkamp. steenkamp was found dead in his home in pretoria last week p he had gunshot wounds -- or rather
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she had gunshot wounds to her head and chest. prosecutors told a bail hearing the shooting was premeditated. pistorius said he thought steenkamp was an intruder. some local media reported that a neighbor heard people arguing before the shooting. the court will decide whether to grant bail. pistorius competed in the london games last year. the first double amputee to run in the olympics. he went on to win two gold medals in the paralympics. armed robbers have stolen an estimated $50 million worth of diamonds in a raid at brussels airport. brussels police say the gems were being loaded on a plane on monday night for transport to switzerland. the police say two cars drove up to the plane. eight masked men wearing police uniforms jumped out. the men threatened airport workers with machine guns. they took away about 120 cases of rough and cut diamonds. >> the operation at the airport has taken exactly three minutes. so this was a very quick hit and run, very well organized.
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there has been no shooting. there were no injuries. >> a burnt-out vehicle was later found near the airport. an official of an international diamond organization says it's disturbing the robbers were able to breach airport security so easily. the japanese are desperate to reclaim their title as a competitive exporter nation. but the numbers keep showing that we have a long way to go. ai uchida is here from the business desk. tell us about that. >> right, catherine. in 2012 japan logged the biggest yearly trade deficit. and already this early into the new year, 2013, japan is already breaking new records. the trade balance for the country has shown the largest monthly deficit ever. that is based on comparable data that have been compiled since 1979, while the yen weakness has led to an increase in exports, more fuel imports weighed on the balance. finance ministry officials said
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the trade deficit for january came to about $17.4 billion. the balance has been in the red o'for seven months in a row. japan's exports rose by 6.4% from a year earlier in yen terms. they have risen for the first time in eight months. auto parts exports contributed to the increase. but imports also rose for a third consecutive month, and by 7.3% from a year earlier. higher demand for energy, for use in thermal power generators, was a major factor. and let's get a check on the markets. first taking a look at the stock market. tokyo share prices are trading higher after the dow jones industrial average reached its highest level this year on tuesday. sources say investors are buying export-related stocks on hopes for a better global economic outlook. the nikkei average currently 11,475, a gain of .9% from tuesday's close. moving on to currencies now, the dollar is slightly higher against the yen.
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expectations are mounting that the bank of japan will take additional easing measures in the coming mods. the dollar against the yen is being quoted at 93.70-73. market watchers say participants are now closely looking to see who's going to head the bank of japan. that's after governor masaki shirakawa steps down next month. and the euro is trading also higher against the yen. boosted by an improvement in germany's economic sentiment data. the euro against the yen at 125.82-87. now, in other markets in the asia pacific, south korea's kospi is up by .9% above that 2,000 mark at the moment. let's see what's happening in australia. the benchmark index there is up by 1/3 of a percent at 5,100. well, u.s. president barack obama is pressuring lawmakers to avoid automatic budget cuts that could take effect in ten days.
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>> if they can't get such a budget agreement done by next friday, the day these harmful cuts begin to take effect, then at minimum congress should pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would prevent these harmful cuts. >> the cuts include defense spending. they were put off last december in debates over the so-called fiscal cliff. but congress remains divided. the democrats want to increase taxes on the wealthy, while republicans are against it. obama strongly criticized the republicans' unwillingness to compromise. he said it's wrong to make the middle class responsible for deficit reduction while wealthy individuals and corporations contribute nothing. and as you know, the current bank of japan governor will step down in march. and market participants are waiting to see who will succeed him. prime minister shinzo abe is finalizing his nomination, while
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opposition party leaders are already skeptical about his recommendation. abe will submit his candidate to the diet next week. he's indicated the next governor should be willing to take bold monetary measures. but he also told the upper house budget committee he'll pick someone who can get opposition parties on side. he could lods the trust of financial markets if the opposition-controlled upper house rejects his choice. members of the opposing democratic party have called for maintaining the central bank's independence in creating monetary policy. yoshimi watanabe the leader of another opposition group, your party, is against opposing a former official of the finance ministry or the bank of japan. that's the latest in biz news for now. i'll leave you with a check on regional markets. ♪
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people in japan's northernmost islands say they don't want a nuclear plant near them. the hokkaido residents asked the government to stop building a facility. electric power development company, or j-power-s constructing the plant in ohma on japan's main island. the town is 23 kilometers by sea from hakodate in hokkaido. work was stopped after the 2011 quake. it was resumed in october 2012. heads of hakodate and five other cities submitted the request to the central government. >> i don't think there's any need for the construction to go forward. >> reporter: the mayor also said people are worried about the safety of the plant because it's just across the water.
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city officials say they're considering filing a lawsuit to demand a stop to the construction. >> thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land waiting to be restored. overcoming the challenges of japan's 2011 disaster won't be easy. but step by step people are moving forward. find out how on the road ahead, every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time right here on "newsline." shocking reports have emerged about the voyage of a group of asylum seekers whose boat was rescued off sri lanka. almost 100 people apparently died during the two-month ordeal from starvation and dehydration. the sri lankan navy rescued 31 adult males and one boy on saturday. they were on a sinking boat in waters off the southeast coast. the survivors appeared weak and
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thin. others in the group were not so fortunate. a police spokesperson told reuters that the captain and 97 others died. their bodies were thrown into the sea. the group reportedly set off with one month's supply of food and water, but they were adrift for double that time after the ship's engine failed. they were hoping to reach indonesia or australia. they apparently identified themselves as muslims of a border village between myanmar and bangladesh. clashes between rohinge muslims and the buddhist majority in myanmar has forced people from minority group to flee. the united nations has estimated that some 1,000 rohinge were living in myanmar. the government calls them illegal aliens from bangladesh. but that country also rejects them. home remains a dangerous place for people in afghanistan. the latest united nations survey shows nearly 3,000 civilians died last year because of armed
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conflict and terror attacks. u.n. data showed 2,754 civilian deaths were reported. that's a decrease of 377 from 2011. it marks the first decline since u.n. officials began the survey six years ago. they attribute the drop to fewer suicide bombings and a decline in aerial attacks. about 80% of victims died in attacks by the taliban and other insurgents, including roadside bombings. attacks by multinational forces or afghan security troops were responsible for 316 deaths, or about 11% of the total. western and arab nations are leading donors to palestinians. however, due to the economic downturn in the west, the present level of financial assistance is insufficient to meet their needs. palestinians are now turning to asia.
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they believe they can gain knowledge and experience from the region, which will lead to economic growth. nhk world's kohei tsuji explains. ♪ >> reporter: these people in the gaza strip are jubilant after being provided new homes. saudi arabia financed the construction. nearly half of the 4.3 million residents in palestine are refugees. they lost their land and homes through the establishment of israel and during arab-israeli wars. many nations have provided money through u.n. organizations for those in difficulty. assistance has built schools and
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hospitals. but palestinians want to change their dependence on foreign aid. last year, the u.n. general assembly upgraded palestine's status to that of a non-member state. this has motivated residents to try and stand on their own, even under israeli occupation. the spotlight has shifted to the experience and technology from emerging nations in asia who have achieved economic growth after winning independence. >> money is important, but what's more important is education and knowledge. and we need to know how you have them, and we need to duplicate your experience. >> reporter: this man is a farmer in the west bank. he crushes date palm leaves that
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grow in abundance in palestine. the leaves once had no use. >> translator: we just burnt them and threw them away before. >> reporter: but now he ferments them to feed cattle. ajiri learned the method last year from experts who had joined a study program in malaysia. japan recently provided the know-how to the country in the 1990s. it now costs ajuri almost nothing to feed his cattle. he no longer buys expensive feed from israelis. he says that his sheep produce more milk and better-quality meat. >> translator: it's important to learn from experience as well as to receive financial support.
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experience creates more income. >> reporter: malaysian officials are now holding training courses for palestinians. and the japanese government supports the efforts of countries that it helped in the past as they assist other nations in need. yoshihiko ogata is a consultant who is assisting palestinians. >> translator: providing technology rather than goods and developing human relations are very important. japan is good at this type of assistance. it's rewarding and gives us a great sense of achievement. >> reporter: still, the israeli occupation casts a shadow over these efforts. it affects over half of the west bank. israel imposes restrictions on construction involving palestinians. assistance from asia still faces many hurdles to clear. but these barriers may turn into
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a path that lead palestinians to stand on their own feet once again. kohei tsuji, nhk world, the west bank and gaza strip. time to get a check on the weather. people in eastern china are finding it hard to get around. mai shoji tells us why in world weather. >> hi there. still sometimes nice to look at, but traveling around it not so much fun. let me show you a video coming out from eastern china. heavy snow covered much of east china on monday and tuesday, causing serious traffic disruption. authorities are advising people to drive slowly and carefully on slippery roads. nanjing saw 18 centimeters of snow on tuesday. the largest one-day snowfall in february for this area. shanghai's traffic was also affected by the snow. now, if we pull back, the satellite picture shows you that the skies are clearing up, so the snow is going to stop across
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much of the eastern continental asia due to these kind of high pressure systems cresting overhead. shanghai will see the temperature on the upswing too. not so much here in the korean peninsula. seoul this morning saw temperatures dipping down to minus 8.7 degrees. here across much of japan as well, cold is dominating the country. much of the nation saw temperatures dipping down to the freezing point or below across the area including tokyo as well. winter pressure pattern will then be intensified due to this frigid air. and the snowfall will be about 60 centimeters into the next 24 hours. especially in the northwestern flank. in addition to that, winds are very strong, picking up the waves along the coastal areas, about four meters high. so blowing snow, blizzard conditions, these are going to be in store for the western flank. but the southern areas of japan looking clear and nice. tokyo, we saw snow yesterday, some snow flurries nice to look
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at, nothing too dramatic with the travel dushs, but today sun is showing its face. temperaturewise, 9 in tokyo. here's seoul at freezing point for the high. and down toward the tropics, different story in the 30s. and this is why the system here, this is a tropical depression. it's maintaining its intensity as it curls over the country, bringing thunderstorms as well. there is one person dead due to the flash flood caused by the ongoing torrential rain. this drenching rain will then make its way toward the indo-china peninsula into the next 72 hours and dumping some heavy rain across southern vietnam. we'll keep a very close eye on this for the next few days. across the north american continent things are pretty rough here. atlantic canada again will find really heavy snowfall, blizzard conditions are again in store for you there. snowfall will be very heavy across the central plains. more than 30 centimeters could be piling up in the next couple of days. severe thunderstorms could erupt
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across northeastern texas due to the humidity flowing from the gulf and the cold frigid air clashing around this area. we have one tornadic report in california already. so the system is capable of unleashing even tornadoes. now, across this continent we're looking at temperatures sinking down to minus 6 in chicago. now, a quick look here in europe. high pressure dominates most of the central regions. so it's really nice and clear for much of the area except for this low pressure system lingering over poland, bringing snowy and windy conditions. thundershowers across the central mediterranean as well as the iberian peninsula. 17 degrees. not bad at all. but paris just at 6 degrees. i'll leave you now for your extended forecast. ♪
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♪ ♪ and that's all for this edition of "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. thanks for joining us.


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